PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS WEEK

TO YOLANDA SURVIVORS: I'M A LITTLE BIT LATE BUT I'M HERE WITH YOU!

 
Pope Francis is greeted by Yolanda survivors upon his arrival at the Tacloban airport in Leyte yesterday. VAL RODRIGUEZ TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Amid a frenzied welcome and cheering throngs, Pope Francis’ five-day visit to the Philippines is chiefly about breaking bread with disaster victims, before whom he declared in an unscripted and emotional homily yesterday, “I am here to be with you.”  Many unabashedly wept as Pope Francis delivered a message of hope during a mass before thousands of rain-drenched devotees, many of whom had lost family members in the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. They stood in silence as the open-air celebration of the Eucharist proceeded amid heavy rain and strong winds triggered by Tropical Storm Amang. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Pope's final homily in Philippines: Protect the family


Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. AP/Alessandra Tarantino
MANILA, Philippines — Pope Francis' last homily in the Philippines for his five-day stay carried the oft-recurring theme expressing his concern for the family. Reflecting on the Filipinos' devotion to the image of the Christ child, locally known as the Santo Nino, the pope impelled the millions of pilgrims attending an outdoor Mass in Rizal Park to "protect" the family. "[The Santo Nino] reminds us of the importance of protecting our families and those larger families, which are the Church, God's family, and the world, our human family," the Roman Pontiff said in English. As he did in his message to families at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, the pope again lamented modern threats to the family. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Pope to Filipinos: We need holy young people


MANILA, Philippines - Pope Francis on Sunday delivered another impromptu message in Spanish, this time to young people, whom he urged to aim for holiness. Speaking before thousands at the University of Santo Tomas, the pope said young people should use the deluge of information they encounter to love God and other people. "We have so much information ... [Young people] risk becoming museums who have everything but don't know what to do with them," he said, as subsequently translated by Msgr. Mark Gerard Miles. "We don't need youth museums but we do need holy young people," the Holy Father added. He said that being as holy as saints is a task of love, which he called the "most important" thing to learn. "You might ask me, 'Father, how do we become saints?' It's a challenge, it's a challenge of love, which is the most important subject you have to learn in the university, the most important subject to learn in life," he explained. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Learn how to weep, Pope Francis tells Filipino youth


Former street children Jun Chura, 14 and Glyzelle Iris Palomar, 12 read their messages to Pope Francis during the youth encounter at the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. Screengrab from RTVM MANILA, Philippines - "Why do so many children have to suffer?"
Speaking to thousands of young people at the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday, Pope Francis said people should reflect on the question, urging them not to be indifferent to abuses and sacrifices of children. The pope's message came after he heard the testimony of former street children Jun Chura, 14 and Glyzelle Iris Palomar, 12. Chura described to the Roman Pontiff his life as a homeless child who witnessed abuses to children, who reacted to their circumstances by resorting to crime and drugs. Her turn to read her message, Palomar wept while asking the pope: "Bakit po pumapayag ang Diyos na ay ganitong nangyayari. Kahit walang kasalanan ang mga bata. At bakit kaunti lamang ang mga taong tumutulong sa amin."  READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Pope Francis turns into ‘Lolo Kiko,’ stops to kiss toddlers on way to Luneta Mass


Pope Francis was aboard his third popemobile, which was fashioned from a jeepney, and went around the historic park on his way to the Quirino Grandstand where he would celebrate the Holy Eucharist that attracted millions of people. His Holiness first spotted the toddler, whom him parents raised, for the Pope to see. and the next one was an infant. Pope Francis kissed another toddler as his popemobile made several turns en route to the Grandstand. The Mass—deemed to be the biggest in decades—was scheduled for 3:30 p.m., but it looks like it will begin earlier. He’s Lolo Kiko and grandfathers do adore their grandchildren. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Visibly moved, Pope Francis embraces girl after she asks him, 'Why does God allow children to become prostitutes?'


The Catholic leader was visibly moved by the girl's question in Manila BEN TUFFT Sunday 18 January 2015  Pope Francis was moved to embrace a tearful abandoned girl at a university in Manila after she asked why God allows children to become prostitutes. Glyzelle Palomar wept as she asked the Pope: “Many children get involved in drugs and prostitution. Why does God allow these things to happen to us? The children are not guilty of anything.”  The pontiff, cementing his reputation as a champion of the poor and oppressed, took the 12-year-old in his arms to comfort her. He was so touched by the girl’s appeal that he abandoned his pre-prepared speech in English and instead responded to the child in Spanish, his native language. Visibly moved, the Pope said: “She is the only one who has put forward a question for which there is no answer and she was not even able to express it in words but rather in tears.”  read full report...

ALSO: 6 million attend Mass at Rizal Park


This general view shows millions of faithful attending a mass held by Pope Francis Rizal Park in Manila on Sunday. AFP Photo The sheer number of people who attended Pope Francis’ Mass at the Rizal Park was a testament of the faith of Filipinos who defied inclement weather just to be with the pontiff. Officials said six million people showed up at the park, a world record crowd for a papal gathering. Most of the faithful who waited for hours wore ponchos to protect themselves from the rain. The figure surpassed the five million people who celebrated Mass with Pope John Paul II in 1995. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) estimated that 2.4 million people lined the streets from the Apostolic Nunciature in Quirino Avenue to the Rizal Park. At least four million devotees packed Rizal Park. “We have it at six million,” MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said when asked for the crowd size. Many of the faithful who gathered at the Quirino Grandstand had been in the area since Saturday. Thousands who came from the provinces stayed in hotels near park, thinking they would have a better chance of seeing the Pope. The grandstand was filled to capacity as soon as the gates were opened at 6 a.m., leaving those who came late to watch from large TV screens set up around the park. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

‘I’m here to be with you’


Pope Francis is greeted by Yolanda survivors upon his arrival at the Tacloban airport in Leyte yesterday. VAL RODRIGUEZ

TACLOBAN CITY, IANUARY 17, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Janvic Mateo - Amid a frenzied welcome and cheering throngs, Pope Francis’ five-day visit to the Philippines is chiefly about breaking bread with disaster victims, before whom he declared in an unscripted and emotional homily yesterday, “I am here to be with you.”

Many unabashedly wept as Pope Francis delivered a message of hope during a mass before thousands of rain-drenched devotees, many of whom had lost family members in the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

They stood in silence as the open-air celebration of the Eucharist proceeded amid heavy rain and strong winds triggered by Tropical Storm Amang.

“I’m a little bit late, but I’m here,” Francis said, drawing some laughter from the crowd.

But the mood immediately turned somber when he started consoling those who had lost loved ones from the super typhoon.

“So many of you have lost everything; I don’t know what to say to you... Some of you have lost part of your families. All I can do is keep silence and walk with you all with my silent heart,” he said.

Clad in yellow raincoats that offered little protection from the rain and the cold, the pilgrims stood their ground and remained within their assigned locations as the first papal mass in Eastern Visayas proceeded.

But little did they expect that the pope, who arrived an hour early due to the bad weather, would celebrate the mass clad in a similar raincoat.

Cheers erupted from the drenched crowd when the pope emerged wearing the same yellow poncho.


As part of his state and pastoral visit, Pope Francis flew from Manila to Leyte to meet with survivors of typhoon Yolanda. He celebrated mass amid the effects of typhoon Amang in the area. — January 17, 2015. (Photos from The Official Gazette of the Philippines)

Earlier, the Archdiocese of Palo said they would distribute around a million raincoats in anticipation of the rainy weather.

With his trademark mischievous smile, the pontiff proceeded with the mass as the weather deteriorated.

Before his homily, the pope spent a few minutes in silence – as if sizing up his audience – before asking if he could speak in his native Spanish.

“I have translator, I bought translator. May I do it? May I?” the pope asked, to which the crowd replied in the affirmative.

In his homily, the pontiff reiterated the purpose of his trip to the Philippines: to be with the victims of Yolanda.

“I’d like to tell you something close to my heart. When I saw from Rome that catastrophe, I (knew) I had to be here. And on those very days I decided to come here,” he told thousands of pilgrims who braved the bad weather to attend the papal mass.

The pope urged the faithful to trust Jesus Christ, who Himself had suffered pain, loneliness and humiliation.


As part of his state and pastoral visit, Pope Francis flew from Manila to Leyte to meet with survivors of typhoon Yolanda. He celebrated mass amid the effects of typhoon Amang in the area. — January 17, 2015. (Photos from The Official Gazette of the Philippines)

“Jesus always goes before us and when we pass an experience, a cross, he passed there before us,” the pope said.

“And if today we find ourselves here 14 months afterwards, 14 months precisely after the Typhoon Yolanda hit, it is because we have the security of knowing we will not weaken in our faith because Jesus has been here before us,” he added.

The pontiff also told the crowd to hold on to Mary and tell her what they feel in their hearts.

“Let us know that we have a mother, Mary, and a great brother, Jesus,” he added. “We are not alone. We also have many brothers who in this moment of catastrophe came to help.”

One of the readers in the mass was a woman who lost 11 of her family members during the onslaught of Yolanda. The Bible verses in the mass were read in English, Ilonggo, Bisaya and other dialects.

At one point, the winds shook the crucifix on the altar, almost knocking it down, but it remained in place.

Comfort in silence

The pope appeared at a loss for words toward the end of his homily. “Forgive me if I have no other words to express myself. Please know that Jesus never lets you down. Know that the tenderness of Mary never lets you down,” he said.

The pope called for a minute of silence and asked the faithful to reflect on their situation and their relationship with Jesus and Mary.


As part of his state and pastoral visit, Pope Francis flew from Manila to Leyte to meet with survivors of typhoon Yolanda. He celebrated mass amid the effects of typhoon Amang in the area. — January 17, 2015. (Photos from The Official Gazette of the Philippines)

“And beside the cross was His mother. We are like a little child in the moments when we have so much pain and no longer understand anything. All we can do is grab hold of her hand firmly and say ‘mommy,’ like a child does when it is afraid. It is perhaps the only words we can say in difficult times – ‘Mommy’,” he said.

“And holding onto her mantle and with the power that comes from Jesus’ love on the cross, let us move forward and walk together as brothers and sisters in the Lord,” he said.

Francis arrived at the Daniel Z. Romualdez airport in Tacloban City 45 minutes ahead of his original schedule of 8:45 a.m.

Fr. Amadeo Alvero, spokesman of the Archdiocese of Palo, said the change in the pope’s schedule was due to the worsening weather condition brought about by Tropical Storm Amang.

Alvero initially said the early arrival of the pope would allow him to leave Leyte by 4:15 p.m., or 45 minutes earlier than his original plan.

However, just over an hour after leaving for Palo town, the papal convoy returned to the Tacloban airport and left shortly after 1 p.m.

Crowds had gathered as early as 4 a.m. at the airport despite the worsening weather to welcome the pope.



A rain-drenched but lively crowd wearing yellow and white raincoats welcomed Pope Francis in the typhoon-ravage central Philippine city of Tacloban early Saturday, chanting "Papa Francesco, Viva il Papa!" (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, Pool)

After the mass, he surprised the crowd when his popemobile weaved around the airport where the mass was held. At one point, he even asked the driver to stop so he could bless a child who was in the crowd.

“He is just like us,” a typhoon survivor said in Filipino after the pope had left.

Earlier, upon seeing him disembark from the Philippine Airlines plane that brought him to Tacloban City, the crowd started chanting “Viva il Papa, Papa Francesco.”

“It shows how excited the people are to meet the pope,” Fr. Alvero said. “The weather won’t stop them.”

For Marites, a 45-year-old Leyte resident who lost a brother during the typhoon, seeing the pope up close seemed to have alleviated her exhaustion from the long wait. “It was totally worth it,” she said.

Palo Archbishop John Du profusely thanked Francis after the mass, saying the people had never imagined the pope celebrating the Eucharist with them.


Former Philippine first lady and now Congresswoman Imelda Marcos wears a yellow raincoat as she attends a celebration of Mass in the highlight of Pope Francis' pastoral visit to the country Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 at Tacloban, Leyte province in central Philippines. Marcos also hails from Leyte. (AP Photo/Jim Gomez)

Du gave Francis an image of the Immaculate Concepcion made from the debris of the Palo cathedral after it was damaged by Yolanda.

“The suffering of our people defied imagination yet in the midst of pain and suffering, it was our Christian faith that helped us through,” Du said.

“May your humble presence among the poor and among us who have suffered the tragedy of the super typhoon ever lead us to the restful waters of God’s mercy and love,” he added.

In return, the pope handed Du a mosaic image of the Madonna del Popolo for the Palo cathedral.

Meanwhile, Fr. Aris Sison, rector of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao, called Francis “a saint in our lifetime.”

“You can feel that Jesus is truly inside him,” Sison said.

“I believe he will be canonized a saint in our lifetime,” he added. “He chooses to speak from the heart. He is work first before words.”

He said the pope was not just energetic, but was passionate as well “in his desire to communicate the love of God.”

Since the start of his papacy in 2013, Pope Francis has canonized 17 saints, including John Paul II on April 27, 2014. The last one was Joseph Vaz from Sri Lanka on Jan. 15 before he proceeded to Manila on the same day for a five-day visit.


Pope Francis touches a child before the start of the meeting with families at the Mall of Asia Arena, January 16, 2015. Rappler.com photo

In his message at the Meeting of Families at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, Pope Francis warned the faithful of the many dangers to Filipino families, including “natural, economic and destructive lifestyles” that threaten their integrity and break up the basic unit of society.

“While all too many people live in dire poverty, others are caught up in materialism and lifestyles which are destructive of family life and the most basic demands of Christian morality,” the pope said. – Paolo Romero


PHILSTAR

Pope's final homily in Philippines: Protect the family By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated January 18, 2015 - 4:27pm 5 19 googleplus0 1


Pope Francis hugs a child during his meeting with the youth in Santo Tomas University in Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. AP/Alessandra Tarantino

MANILA, Philippines — Pope Francis' last homily in the Philippines for his five-day stay carried the oft-recurring theme expressing his concern for the family.

Reflecting on the Filipinos' devotion to the image of the Christ child, locally known as the Santo Nino, the pope impelled the millions of pilgrims attending an outdoor Mass in Rizal Park to "protect" the family.

"[The Santo Nino] reminds us of the importance of protecting our families and those larger families, which are the Church, God's family, and the world, our human family," the Roman Pontiff said in English.

As he did in his message to families at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, the pope again lamented modern threats to the family.

"Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture," Pope Francis said.

He also warned of the attractiveness of the devil, whom he called the "father of lies," hiding in distractions due to gadgets and squandering resources on gambling and drink.


Pope Francis (C) talks to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (L) during the meeting with families at the Mall of Asia Arena, January 16, 2015. Rappler.com photo

"Often, [the devil] hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of of being 'modern', 'like everyone else'. He distracts us with the promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes," he said.

Repeating his supplication to young people on Sunday morning at the University of Santo Tomas, Pope Francis said Filipinos should be "focused on things that really matter."

We forget to remain, at heart, children of God. Protecting children Pope Francis also used the image of the Santo Nino to appeal for the protection of children and young people, who will continue the "great spiritual and cultural heritage" in society.

"We need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected," he said. "And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets."

On Sunday morning, the Holy Father listened to testimonies of two former street children who experienced and witnessed abuse, crime and abandonment.

"Why is God allowing something like this to happen, even to innocent children? And why are there so few who are helping us?" one of the two children said, breaking down in tears, unable to finish reading what she had prepared to say to the pope.

"Only when we are able to cry are we able to come close to responding to your question," Francis said. "There are some realities that you can only see through eyes that are cleansed by tears."


PHILSTAR

Pope to Filipinos: We need holy young people By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated January 18, 2015 - 2:12pm 2 11 googleplus0 0


Photo by Jonathan Asuncion

MANILA, Philippines - Pope Francis on Sunday delivered another impromptu message in Spanish, this time to young people, whom he urged to aim for holiness.

Speaking before thousands at the University of Santo Tomas, the pope said young people should use the deluge of information they encounter to love God and other people.

"We have so much information ... [Young people] risk becoming museums who have everything but don't know what to do with them," he said, as subsequently translated by Msgr. Mark Gerard Miles.

"We don't need youth museums but we do need holy young people," the Holy Father added.

He said that being as holy as saints is a task of love, which he called the "most important" thing to learn.

"You might ask me, 'Father, how do we become saints?' It's a challenge, it's a challenge of love, which is the most important subject you have to learn in the university, the most important subject to learn in life," he explained.

He said that information consumed through technology should be reflected on and acted upon.

"To think, feel and put into effect. Let that information enter your heart," the pope said.

"To think, to feel and to do," he added, repeating the phrase thrice.

Pope Francis will leave Manila for Rome on Monday after spending three full days in the Philippines, causing what the public has dubbed as "Francis effect."

The pope's trips around the capital and areas of Leyte were marked by streets crowded by well-wishers and pilgrims, who are sometimes moved to tears upon seeing the Catholic leader.


PHILSTAR

Pope Francis tells Filipino youth: Learn how to weep By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated January 18, 2015 - 1:12pm 1 128 googleplus0 0


Former street children Jun Chura, 14 and Glyzelle Iris Palomar, 12 read their messages to Pope Francis during the youth encounter at the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. Screengrab from RTVM

MANILA, Philippines - "Why do so many children have to suffer?"

Speaking to thousands of young people at the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday, Pope Francis said people should reflect on the question, urging them not to be indifferent to abuses and sacrifices of children.

The pope's message came after he heard the testimony of former street children Jun Chura, 14 and Glyzelle Iris Palomar, 12.

Chura described to the Roman Pontiff his life as a homeless child who witnessed abuses to children, who reacted to their circumstances by resorting to crime and drugs.

Her turn to read her message, Palomar wept while asking the pope: "Bakit po pumapayag ang Diyos na ay ganitong nangyayari. Kahit walang kasalanan ang mga bata. At bakit kaunti lamang ang mga taong tumutulong sa amin."

Palomar was telling the pope how other street children fall into drugs and prostitution.

The Holy Father said people have to learn how to weep, as this is a mark of compassion with others and of their faith.

"We need to ask ourselves, have we learned how to weep, how to cry, for somebody left to one side, for someone who has a drug problem?" Pope Francis said, addressing the thousands of Filipino youth during a Mass at the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday morning.

"Do we weep when a child takes drugs? Do we weep when a child is forced into labor? Do we weep when a child is abused?" the pope said.

He added: "If you don't learn how to cry, you can't be good Christians. This is a challenge."


INQUIRER

Pope Francis turns into ‘Lolo Kiko,’ stops to kiss toddlers on way to Luneta Mass Bong Lozada @BLozadaINQ INQUIRER.net 3:00 PM | Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Pope Francis was aboard his third popemobile, which was fashioned from a jeepney, and went around the historic park on his way to the Quirino Grandstand where he would celebrate the Holy Eucharist that attracted millions of people.

His Holiness first spotted the toddler, whom him parents raised, for the Pope to see. and the next one was an infant.

Pope Francis kissed another toddler as his popemobile made several turns en route to the Grandstand.

The Mass—deemed to be the biggest in decades—was scheduled for 3:30 p.m., but it looks like it will begin earlier.

He’s Lolo Kiko and grandfathers do adore their grandchildren.


INDEPENDENT.CO.UK

Pope Francis embraces girl after she asks: 'Why does God allow children to become prostitutes?'


The Catholic leader was visibly moved by the girl's question in Manila BEN TUFFT Sunday 18 January 2015

Pope Francis was moved to embrace a tearful abandoned girl at a university in Manila after she asked why God allows children to become prostitutes.

Glyzelle Palomar wept as she asked the Pope: “Many children get involved in drugs and prostitution. Why does God allow these things to happen to us? The children are not guilty of anything.”

The pontiff, cementing his reputation as a champion of the poor and oppressed, took the 12-year-old in his arms to comfort her.

He was so touched by the girl’s appeal that he abandoned his pre-prepared speech in English and instead responded to the child in Spanish, his native language.

Visibly moved, the Pope said: “She is the only one who has put forward a question for which there is no answer and she was not even able to express it in words but rather in tears.”

Calling on people to show compassion for the marginalised, he continued: “I invite each one of you to ask yourselves, 'Have I learned how to weep, how to cry when I see a hungry child, a child on the street who uses drugs, a homeless child, an abandoned child, an abused child, a child that society uses as a slave'?”

The girl had been abandoned before being sheltered by a church-run community and was once homeless. She had been welcoming the Pope to the university, but broke down as she asked her emotional question.

The religious leader was speaking at an event at a Catholic university in the Philippines’ capital, where 30,000 people had crowded to see Francis.

Later, he said mass in Rizal Park, at the end of a seven day tour of Asia, where officials estimated more than 3,000,000 were in attendance. People had been waiting through the night for the park gates to open at dawn; nine hours before the mass was due to begin.

Pope Francis was driven through the throng of people in a modified “popemobile” wearing a transparent yellow poncho over his white papal cassock and regularly stopped to kiss children and bless religious statues.


Pope Francis waves to the crowd after conducting mass (Getty)

In the Philippines it is thought that 1.2 million children live on the streets and 35.1 per cent of children were living in poverty in 2009, the last year such figures were collated, according to the Child Protection Network Foundation.

The theme of compassion for the poor was central to the Pope’s visit and he attacked the “scandalous social inequalities” in the Philippines.

The Catholic Church has grappled with a number of scandals in recent years, including the abuse of children by priests. Pope Francis is attempting to move on from this by modernising the church and acting in a more conciliatory manner than his predecessors.

Additional reporting Reuters


MANILA TIMES

6 million attend Mass at Rizal Park January 18, 2015 7:25 pm
by BY BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON Reporter and JOEL SY EGCO Senior Reporter


This general view shows millions of faithful attending a mass held by Pope Francis Rizal Park in Manila on Sunday. AFP Photo

The sheer number of people who attended Pope Francis’ Mass at the Rizal Park was a testament of the faith of Filipinos who defied inclement weather just to be with the pontiff.

Officials said six million people showed up at the park, a world record crowd for a papal gathering. Most of the faithful who waited for hours wore ponchos to protect themselves from the rain.

The figure surpassed the five million people who celebrated Mass with Pope John Paul II in 1995.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) estimated that 2.4 million people lined the streets from the Apostolic Nunciature in Quirino Avenue to the Rizal Park. At least four million devotees packed Rizal Park.

“We have it at six million,” MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said when asked for the crowd size.

Many of the faithful who gathered at the Quirino Grandstand had been in the area since Saturday. Thousands who came from the provinces stayed in hotels near park, thinking they would have a better chance of seeing the Pope.

The grandstand was filled to capacity as soon as the gates were opened at 6 a.m., leaving those who came late to watch from large TV screens set up around the park.

The pope left the Apostolic Nunciature at past 2:30 p.m. The pontiff hugged and kissed at least eight children on his way to the stage of the Quirino Grandstand.

As early as dawn, huge crowds began to converge around the Quirino Grandstand for the outdoor Mass scheduled in the afternoon.

As of 12 noon, reports indicated that the number of people who gathered in the sprawling park already reached five million.


EMOTIONAL DAY Pope Francis waves to well wishers after a mass in Tacloban on Saturday. AFP PHOTO

Security officials said more than a dozen people were wounded during a small stampede when people rushed across concrete barriers and security checks that were earlier set up. The metal detectors, especially near the Ma. Orosa gate, were not used because of the sudden surge of people.

To effectively secure the pilgrims and the Pope, the government placed on standby some 50,000 soldiers and policemen, also the largest security preparation in history.

The Philippine Red Cross deployed as many as 7,000 personnel in the park to assist those who get injured or fall ill.

The Luneta Mass capped the pontiff’s four-day State and Pastoral visit that began on Thursday. He will fly back to the Vatican Monday morning.

The pontiff left the Quirino Grandstand area at 5:13 p.m. but not without blessing and waving to the crowds who patiently waited for him.

Before finally leaving, Pope Francis went around the crowd, blessing, shaking hands and kissing a baby.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE